Transformational Festivals

I offer Spiritual workshops at Festivals and Burning Man on the U.S. West Coast. I feel these event are transformational and wish to share some thoughts about that here:
There is an accelerated awakening taking place on the Earth. The Conscious Spirit of Love is dawning and shining brighter in many hearts. Many of us feel the inspiration and light guiding and growing us directly, regardless of whatever particular spiritual traditions we might seek wisdom in.

As we transform within, we are also inspired and empowered by joining with others who feel a similar communion with the essence of Love and Life. They may not visit our particular church, sweat lodge, or ashram, but we can sense they are kindred spirits in our hearts. We reflect each other’s light to one another. We grow and support each other’s awakening when we come together with open hearts.

We might have trouble putting it into words but we feel good around each other. We feel inspired and renewed when we gather and celebrate with our extended family.

It is this phenomena of mass awakening and transformation which has elevated the tranformational festival into an important spiritual event for many of us. It has become a sacred pilgrimage. No dogma is demanded from the pilgrims except a culture of mutual respect and kindness.

When we are Free to celebrate life and enjoy each other, the Spirit of Love is intensified. In these mass gatherings, we open ourselves in ecstatic music and dance. This symbiotic generation of high conscious vibrations charges the atmosphere and creates an environment where evolution, forgiveness, and insight come easier.
The veil is thinner at festivals. Synchronicities abound as if in a magical realm. Transformation is accelerated in such crucibles.

We feel this blessing and renewal at music festivals, but we’re just beginning to realize their spiritual potential. Perhaps we fear by acknowledging their inspirational influence in our lives, we will formalize the experience and deaden the sense of freedom and upliftment we cherish.

Some of us have been conditioned with the idea that spiritual work is hard, disciplined, and involves renunciation. That makes it hard to point to an ecstatic celebration as a path for opening consciousness.

The wonderful revelation we receive when we awaken to ourselves is that the Spirit within and around us, is One of Love. It is all inclusive, and itself ecstatic. It seeks not to punish us, but to teach us. Opening ourselves to that divine magic brings us challenges, but we can face them joyously and have a good time on our journey to truth. To revel in that ecstasy, we need to get out of our own way, and inhabit ourselves honestly in the Present Moment.

One way we learn to “Be Here Now” is Being with each other, in retreat and in celebration at these special gatherings.

These festivals give us and our society so much more than we realize. Of course, We recharge and uplift ourselves and each other. Its great that we support musicians, artists and merchants who offer us culture outside of corporate domination. But beyond that, we uplift the consciousness on the very planet we live on.

Because Love is a peacehouse gas. Give Love anywhere, it uplifts everywhere.

A careful look at society reveals that our culture reflects the consciousness of its members. All our collective fears, selfishness, and conditioning manifest in our environment, our leaders and our circumstances. While it is important to identify and advocate where change is needed in our government, environment, energy, and economics, those things don’t change until we also change within.

A few hundred years ago, society at large generally accepted the existence of slavery. Even many good people accepted that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Further back in time, war was the sport of kings and no false pretenses were required to pillage for sheer greed and glory. We have awakened much since those times although some negative seeds remain within us, reflected in wars and economics that exploit and pollute under a variety of guises and disguises. Activism alone won’t cure these ills until we change our hearts and bring a shift in culture to bear on our values and priorities.

This is where festival activity plants seeds which sprout in the larger world. We preview and rehearse a culture based on community and love. We generate the energy of that change and make it real during the festivities. Festivals are not competitions. Your esteem in this festival culture arises from what you can give and contribute, not from how you can dominate. Embodying a Spirit of Love, Respect, and Supportiveness is itself a grand contribution.

The festival promoters and artists are aware, at least viscerally, of the transformative power of these gatherings. They increasingly support the influence of conscious Love and Spirit in the programming. From booking conscious music, to creating chill zones and altars that invoke sacred space, to providing experiential and educational workshops and lectures, this is not just about good music anymore. It’s about Life…Embracing it… celebrating and uplifting each other as we join to face the challenges brought by world transformation.

We honestly look at ourselves, our politics, our environment and learn how we can bring harmony to those critical aspects of our world. We learn the inner aspect of change, where violent opposition to violent problems only adds to violent energy manifesting. We change our hearts while reaching out to those whose darkness is harming themselves and others.

The festival lets us meet an extended family of friends. We form a network of support that’s poised to model a new culture as old ways continue to fail and disappoint. The Spirit of Life is touching each of us within. When we find each other in celebration, we join as a force larger than our individuality and set the tone for evolution and transformation around us.

I encourage you to take the next conscious steps to make your festival experience uplifting for yourself and everyone else. Look for the light in someone outside your usual crowd. Reach out to someone who feels new to this experience and orient them to the values of sharing and respect that support everyone’s joy. Look for an opportunity to give, greet, help or share. Feel the high vibrations in the atmosphere and align with Love. “Be” in communion with the group soul…intend it, evoke it, embrace it.

Then be present to witness the poetry of life as festival events bring magic and lessons to enhance your life and Being.

It’s Real, be Real.

Invite the Spirit to touch you and others during these great celebrations and then take that magic into your everyday life.

Wishing all Love, Light, and Peace

Karl Baba